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Fief: France 1429» Forums » General

Subject: Availability of Nobles with Six Players rss

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Steven Townshend
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Pardon if this has been asked over the years. I can't find a thread with this subject.

I notice that in six-player games there can be a shortage of nobles. For instance, if a player draws cardinal or d'arc cards... or if a plague eliminates most of a player's nobles and then the other players sweep up all that player's dead nobles on the next turn before that player's draw phase. I've noticed that in six-player games, the other players can effectively cripple a player without nobles by depleting the noble neck before that player gets to draw.

This "noble denial" is less common in five-player games and impossible (?) in four-player games, so it seems to only arise in games with high player counts.

I'm curious as to why there aren't more noble cards, or if others have insights into ways to keep nobles available. If there were only a certain number of nobles available per game (for example, if the number of available nobles in the draw pile scaled down with four players) I'd imagine that limited nobles was intended by design--however the scarcity seems to only come out with high player counts.

I wouldn't ordinarily be concerned, but the player who has lost all his/her nobles and can't get any more nobles is also very limited in what they can do on their turn.

Only played a few games thus far, so I'm wondering how people handle this, if the situation arises often, and how the game tends to play out for the player that can't get nobles.
 
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Nick Clinite
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I don't personally play with 6 players, but limitations on the number of available nobles and mills seems to be a purposeful design choice. If I was the player about the end up with 0 nobles, I'd be trying to negotiate with other players to keep them from drawing the deck out before I get there.
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Thayne Weston
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I have not ever had a player not have at least one noble, or be able to get one. I have seen where they only have one or two, which can be hard. However, sometimes having a lot of Cardinal cards can be valuable to to control church positions.

I am sure there is a reason for the number of nobles. Balance and all that. Sometimes I think it would be nice to have more if for no other reason then to avoid those awkward situations where you kill your neighbor and then have to name your next kid after them.
 
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Steven Townshend
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In the six-player game there can be a shortage of nobles.
In the four-player game there won't be a shortage of nobles.

Should the four-player game therefore have a smaller nobles deck? Should nobles be removed from it in order to provide the same play experience as the six-player game (so that negotiations over nobles can be implemented in the interest of a "balanced" six-player game)?

What does the noble shortage add balance-wise to the six-player game, and in what way is the addition of nobles counterbalanced in the four-player game? What does the four-player game lack for its surfeit of nobles that the six-player game gains by its shortage of them?

In a science-fiction future where Asyncron/Academy released a bonus nobles pack expansion, in what ways would this unbalance the six-player game?
 
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Christoph Wolf
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I think it's to avoid the map being crowded with nobles. There's only 24 villages on the map, if in a 6 player game every player had 4 nobles there could be one in every village. In a 4 player game this is no problem as there can only be 16 nobles max in play and it is better to make this possible so there is enough friction on the map. If you only have 2 nobles in a 4 player game it can easily happen that the city you would need to attack to not let an opponent win is out of reach for both of them.
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Steven Townshend
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^ That makes sense.
 
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Dani Evans
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We've also seen the case where a player's nobles died (assassination and an unfortunate plague) and were then drawn by other players before they were able to get any more, leaving them noble-less.

In this particular case, we decided that this player's blood line was at an end, but one of the other players at the table was willing to trade one of his own nobles in exchange for favours. In thematic terms, we figured that since the younger generation of the House had been completely wiped out, the House had adopted a noble from another family. That was enough to give them presence on the map and let them start clawing their way back into the game.

We talked about adding a house rule such that if your last noble was killed in some way, rather than hand that card in you would keep it to one side so that you were guaranteed able to 'draw' a new noble on your following turn, but we've not had it happen since
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Angelus Seniores
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if you are/were in an alliance, then your ally might help you to get a lord, so you would have 2 chances to pick one up in a turn.

it also depends the turn sequence, i dont think its easy to time the deaths with the moment you will be going last for picking up nobles, so it shouldnt be too common.
also, since other players might be losing nobles as well, there might just be more nobles available to draw from, not only yours.

strictly speaking a player could hold 7 lords, 4 in play, 3 in hand so even with 4 players you could have a shortage, but its also a strategy to choose whether to go for beneficial cards for better income or for lords

and normally, someone always has an interest to keep a player in the game to counterbalance other players ie the enemy of your enemy is normally your friend.
 
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